One of my first and one of the first fragrances for men that ventured into the licorice, anise and vanilla combo that was quite popular 10 years after Casual Friday. Not suprised this is commanding a small fortune online. I think the newer licorice/anise fragrances are on par, so I do not feel the need to pony up the extra cash. I would recommend Masaki's mat very male, though that is becoming hard to find as well.
Since I read the review of Casual Friday in the Perfume-Smellin' Things blog I cannot escape this image of a public library in the morning: an urban shrine of serenity. Maybe it's the dry, dusty patchouli, cedar and cotton flower that I associate with old paper. Maybe it's the sweetened coffee with milk that enhances this image. Finally, maybe it's the anise balancing the gourmand aspects that gives this impression of a sunny morning, big windows, an early yet already busy day. It is an urban fragrance by all means and an intellectual one.
Were Casual Friday a little heavier on vanilla and sugar it would enter the lusty world of gourmands and orientals, yet it chooses another direction. Sweetness is tamed by patchouli and dry woody notes; and and behind anise and cappuccino there's a complex base reminding me partly of a creation form older world, partly of a Comme Des Garcons woody fragrance. By all means, not with the mainstream of its time or any time. There's no big wonder why it was discontinued by Escada. Still, in another world, Casual Friday would be irreplaceable for a busy morning in the big city - a situation currently maintained with all-purpose lightly colognes, speaking irrelevantly about either Italian citrus groves, fresh countryside laundry or seashores, none of them urban in the heart.
For me, Casual Friday is the most wearable and pleasant of the anise-type fragrances.
Lolita Lempicka has a mysterious synthetic note that annoys me even though I enjoy the fragrance.
Body Kouros, on my skin, becomes cloying after a bit. it has great lasting power when I wish it didn't.
Casual Friday is enjoyable start to finish.
A pity this is discontinued and Casual Friday commands a huge price when you can find it.
Perhaps just a bit ahead of it's time.
Escada would be wise to bring this back to the market.
Escada...are you listening???
It is now nearly impossible to avoid comparisons between Casual Friday and Body Kouros, Lolita Lempicka au Masculin, and even distantly, Le Male. After having worn each many times I have been able to sort out their nuances and better distinguish them. With the glaring exception of Le Male I enjoyed each enough to merit regular or semi-regular wear, but needed to mentally justify having three anise/vanilla centric scents, and these are my findings.
- Body Kouros' take on the present theme is colored by a benzoic powdered vanilla and an attractive incense, in keeping with the original Kouros. It is probably the best made all around of the lot, but I feel its use is limited.
- LLaM is almost overpowering with its use of sweet licorice, and its odd boozy character and phenomenal strength make this faeryesque fragrance a love/hate affair for most.
- Casual Friday is the most accessible of the lot. The anise is muted yet well maintained. The vanilla sweetens the woods instead of taking the limelight. The marriage of cinnamon, clove, cedar, and I'm assuming the cotton flower (I'm not sure what it smells like, but it's also a 'C' word) create what I can only describe as a 'spacious, warm accord.' I can see Casual Friday as being the most broadly appealing here, both for wearers and innocent bystanders. It's a fantastically well rounded scent that serves as a reminder of what Escada was before the whole chemical froot thing took over.
This should still be in production. HIGHLY recommended for fans of orientals/gourmands.
Speaking as a mere mortal, I suspect that only bloodhounds or those with a bionic sense of smell will be able to discern any significant difference between this and YSL Body Kouros, which by the way I think is an excellent, likable and highly versatile fragrance for men.
11th December, 2009 (last edited: 20th March, 2010)